Ayrshire Referendum Q&A Meeting

Not long back from the Ayrshire Referendum Q&A Meeting at the racecourse in Ayr tonight, just a few minutes walk from where I live.

There were some diabolical sound problems – I’m an AV technician and found the poor sound quite frustrating. If the venue was supplying the PA, they should get their money back. Anyway – that apart it was a very interesting meeting, with some excellent talks from the Yes Campaign’s Chief Executive Blair Jenkins, Jeane Freeman from Women for Independence, and from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, founding member of Business for Scotland. Local SNP councillor Corraine Wilson was the MC (if that’s the right term).

I was recording the event on a digital recorder, and may be able to sort out some of the audio problems.

All the panel were very good and thought-provoking, though I have to say Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s presentation – an economists’s take on independence – was brilliantly done, and thoroughly convincing and entertaining. He could be a very effective weapon in the Yes campaign’s armoury and should be encouraged to do this routine as often as possible across the country. Later on Blair jenkins explained how, on the independence scale of 1 – ‘over my dead body’ – to 10 – ‘should have happened yesterday’, it was unlikely you were going to change a 1 to a 10 in one conversation – that it was only a case of moving up the scale. Gordon MacIntytre-Kemp’s presentation could sway a staunch unionist.

Anyhow – my PC is crashing on me, so I will post this and listen to the audio tomorrow and make a fuller post.

Jamwatch

From Wings Over Scotland

What is on offer to Scotland from the various parties.

The official policy of all three Unionist parties is now – though they don’t openly call it this – “Jam Tomorrow”: a vague, non-specific non-commitment that Holyrood could maybe have some more powers sometime in the future, so long as Scotland votes No to independence in 2014

 

Control of:

STATUS QUO

DEVO PLUS

JAM TOMORROW

INDEPENDENCE

Income tax

NO

YES

MAYBE

YES

Corporation tax

NO

YES

NO

YES

Oil revenues

NO

YES

NO

YES

Welfare

NO

Partial

NO

YES

VAT

NO

NO

NO

YES

Defence

NO

NO

NO

YES

Foreign policy

NO

NO

NO

YES

Trade & industry

NO

NO

?

YES

Transport

NO

NO

?

YES

Energy regulation

NO

NO

?

YES

Constitution

NO

NO

NO

YES

Crown Estates

NO

NO

NO

YES

Civil service

NO

NO

?

YES

National security

NO

NO

?

YES

Immigration

NO

NO

NO

YES

Broadcasting

NO

NO

NO

YES

 

Scottish independence: EU leaders’ secession bias

From The Scotsman:

EUROPEAN Union leaders are downplaying an independent Scotland’s right to EU membership to compel it to join the euro, open its borders and pay more towards the European budget, according to a senior German government adviser.

It has always struck me that the leaders of the EU are being foolish in their offhand and negative attitude to Scottish independence – we are the part of the UK which is broadly pro-Europe – they seem to be happy to stich us up and go fawning over their English Establishment buddies who are at best grudging, and at worst positively hostile to the very idea of the EU.

This is not the most far-sighted of approaches. But back to the article:

A string of European leaders, including EU Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso, Vice-Commissioner Viviane Reding and EU Council president Herman van Rompuy, have all suggested Scotland would need to reapply as a new state if it left the UK.

Dr Vaubel said their position is based on a desire “to renegotiate the terms of Scottish membership”, to bring them into the euro and Schengen borderless-travel area and give up the budget rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1980s.

But he said the European leaders’ arguments have “no basis in the European treaties”.

Not only does it have ‘no basis in the European treaties’, it beggars belief that the EU establishment would put barriers in the way of Scotland being part of the EU. Maybe a kick up the arse from UKIP doing well in next years Euro elections (in England, of course – they couldn’t get arrested for singing The Sash here) will concentrate their collective mind.

Dr Vaubel said International organisations “have a vested interest in centralisation” and “are biased against secession”.

“The legal position taken by Barroso, Reding and van Rompuy has no basis in the European treaties. Nor is there a precedent in EU law. Nor does the UN Charter envisage dispositions with regard to secession.

“The treaties are also consistent with automatic succession of both the seceding state and the rump state.”